FBI Denver
Special Agent Amy Sanders
(303) 630-6060
July 18, 2017

Field Exercise Hones Child Abduction Response

During the week of July 17th through July 21st, 2017, the FBI and Westminster Police Department are teaming up to provide enhanced training, or Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CARD) instruction, to investigators from 37 law enforcement agencies. The purpose of the training is responding to child abductions and missing children in our community. The training will culminate in a one-day full field training exercise (FTX) in Westminster, Colorado, on Thursday, July 20th. The FTX will reinforce concepts learned during the three previous days of classroom training. Investigators will apply specialized skills and techniques learned during the course toward cohesively solving a mock child abduction.

During the classroom training, the FBI’s national Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CARD) Team and Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) will deliver instruction on topics such as an overview of child sex offenders, information on behavior of child abductors, guidance on false allegations of abductions, and abduction case management. National research shows 74% of children who are abducted and subsequently murdered were murdered within three hours of their abduction. Given sobering data such as this, law enforcement’s ability to recognize and immediately respond to child abduction cases is essential to recovering missing children. As a community, we know all too well the impact these cases can have. We also know how an entire community can unite to support efforts to investigate these incidents.

The CARD FTX will run from 9:00 a.m. until late afternoon in neighborhoods around Westminster. A scenario has been created that involves our community and a variety of community partners including businesses, neighborhoods, schools, and churches. In the FTX, CARD student law enforcement officers will be searching for two missing boys. Volunteers have agreed to role play scripted parts and allow officers access to their homes and businesses. Techniques being taught and deployed include residential canvass searches, field searches, and roadside canvasses. Only volunteers who have been contacted and who have agreed to participate will be contacted during the scenario. Officers will only stop pre-identified cars during roadside canvasses and will only ask to search pre-determined addresses. The scenario will be controlled and monitored by FBI and Westminster Police Department personnel.

The scenario has been developed in the area of the Northpark neighborhood near 104th Ave and Federal Blvd, Westminster, Colorado. No traffic disruptions are anticipated in the FTX training area. Access to all public venues, open spaces, and parks should be unaffected and those areas will be open for normal use. Residents in the affected area have been contacted and know police activity will be occurring in the neighborhood that day. The Crossing Church of the Nazarene has agreed to offer a portion of their facility for the day’s FTX activities. Law enforcement events should not impact the Noah’s Ark or church operations that day.

The FBI offers this joint classroom-field exercise training nationwide. Investigators have already been trained in Texas, Nevada, Alaska, Florida, Louisiana, Rhode Island, North Carolina, New Jersey, Arizona, Seattle, and Alabama.

Participants trained this week will be better-equipped to address the unique challenges presented by child abductions and missing children cases. Their enhanced instruction will prepare them to assist neighboring jurisdictions that require a surge of resources during an actual investigation.

Agencies participating in the training include:

  • FBI Denver Field Office
  • Westminster Police Department
  • Aurora Police Department
  • 1st Judicial District Probation
  • 17th Judicial District
  • Arapahoe County District Attorney’s Office
  • Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office
  • Arvada Police Department
  • Brighton Police Department
  • Boulder Police Department
  • Colorado Bureau of Investigation
  • Colorado Springs Police Department
  • Colorado State Patrol
  • Commerce City Police Department
  • Cheyenne Police Department
  • Dacono Police Department
  • Douglas County Sheriff’s Office
  • Edgewater Police Department
  • Elizabeth Police Department
  • Federal Heights Police Department
  • Frederick Police Department
  • Fowler Police Department
  • Fountain Police Department
  • Golden Police Department
  • Grand Junction Police Department
  • Greeley Police Department
  • Idaho Springs Police Department
  • Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office
  • Lakewood Police Department
  • Larimer County Sheriff’s Office
  • Littleton Police Department
  • Garfield County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lafayette Police Department
  • Laramie Police Department
  • Lone Tree Police Department
  • Louisville Police Department
  • Ralston House CAC
  • Sheridan Police Department
  • Shoshone Police Department (Wyoming)
  • Summit County Sheriff’s Office
  • Thornton Police Department
  • Trinidad Police Department
  • Victim Outreach, Inc.
  • Weld County Department of Human Services
  • Weld County Sheriff’s Office
  • Wheatridge Police Department
  • Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation